Cool Temperatures And Variable Precipitation Observed Over The Last 30 Days

Over the last 30 days (April 3 – May 2), average temperatures ran below normal for most of the state (Figure 1).  Southern Indiana temperature departures were near normal to 1°F below normal.  Larger temperature departures (1 – 4°F below normal) were observed in central and northern Indiana.  Many areas experienced their first 80°F or greater temperature during the last week of April, but that was also accompanied by windy conditions.  April was a persistently windy month.  At the Purdue University Airport, there were 25 days where wind gusts were in excess of 20 mph, 15 days with gusts in excess of 30 mph, and 2 days with gusts in excess of 40 mph.  As for precipitation, most of the state was near to slightly below normal (Figure 2).  The heaviest precipitation occurred in southern Indiana, ranging from 4 to nearly 6 inches.  Shakamak State Park, located in Sullivan County, recorded 5.93 inches of precipitation (0.84 inches above normal). Interestingly, over the last 30 days, many Indiana weather stations experienced 15 – 20 days with measurable precipitation (greater than or equal to 0.01 inches).  This persistent wetness, paired with cool temperatures, led to many delays in agricultural production across the state as soils struggled to dry out.  Turning attention to Modified Growing Degree Days (MGDD), from April 1 to May 3, the most significant accumulations (220 – 300) occurred in southern Indiana (Figure 3). These were still 30­ – 60 units behind the 1991 – 2020 average (Figure 4). Throughout the rest of the state, MGDD departures were larger due to the below-normal temperatures.

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook for the next 6-10 days shows high confidence in above-normal temperatures throughout the entire state and leaning toward below-normal precipitation (Figure 5).  This pattern shift will be welcomed as it will enable soils to dry, improving field access and helping speed up planting process. agricultural production across the state.  The 8-14 day CPC outlook continues with higher confidence in above-normal temperatures with a return to near-normal precipitation (Figure 6).  While the outlooks are trending warmer, it does not mean that Indiana is completely safe from freezing temperatures.  Freeze maps are available on the Midwestern Regional Climate Center’s Vegetation Impact Program Freeze Maps page.

figure 1

Figure 1. Average temperature departures for April 3, 2022 through May 2, 2022 from the 1991-2020 climate normals for the same period.

 

figure 2

Figure 2. Total precipitation from April 3, 2022 through May 2, 2022 represented as a percentage of the 1991-2020 climate normal amount for the same period.

 

figure 3

Figure 3. Modified growing degree day (50°F / 86°F) accumulation from April 1 – May 3, 2022.

 

figure 4

Figure 4. Modified growing degree day (50°F / 86°F) accumulation from April 1 – May 3, 2022, represented as the departure from the 1991-2020 climatological average.

 

figure 5

Figure 5. 6-10 day temperature (left) and precipitation (right) outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center.

 

figure 6

Figure 6. 8-14 day temperature (left) and precipitation (right) outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center.

 

 

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